Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Tale of the Journeying Stream

--by Sufi Parable (Jan 22, 2007)

A stream, from its course in far-off mountains, passing through every kind and description of countryside, at last reached the sands of the desert. Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared.

It was convinced, however, that its destiny was to cross this desert, and yet there was no way. Now a hidden voice, coming from the desert itself, whispered: "The wind crosses the desert, and so can the stream."

The stream objected that it was dashing itself against the sand, and only getting absorbed: that the wind could fly, and this was why it could cross a desert.

"By hurtling in your own accustomed way you cannot get across. You will either disappear or become a marsh. You must allow the wind to carry you over, to your destination.

But how could this happen? "By allowing yourself to be absorbed in the wind."

This idea was not acceptable to the stream. After all, it had never been absorbed before. It did not want to lose its individuality. And, once having lost it, how was one to know that it could ever be regained?

"The wind," said the sand, "performs this function. It takes up water, carries it over the desert, and then lets it fall again. Falling as rain, the water again becomes a river."

"How can I know that this is true?" "It is so, and if you do not believe it, you cannot become more than a quagmire, and even that could take many, many years. And it certainly is not the same as a stream."

"But can I not remain the same stream that I am today?"

"You cannot in either case remain so," the whisper said. "Your essential part is carried away and forms a stream again. You are called what you are even today because you do not know which part of you is the essential one."

When it heard this, certain echoes began to arise in the thoughts of the stream. Dimly it remembered a state in which it -- or some part of it? -- had been held in the arms of a wind. It also remembered -- or did it? -- that this was the real thing, not necessarily the obvious thing to do.

And the stream raised its vapor into the welcoming arms of the wind, which gently and easily bore it upwards and along, letting it fall softly as soon as they reached the roof of a mountain, many, many miles away. And because it had its doubts, the stream was able to remember and record more strongly in its mind the details of the experience. It reflected, "Yes, now I have learned my true identity."

--Sufi Parable

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16 Previous Reflections:

On Sep 3, 2010 Ajai Narendran wrote:

beautiful parable.

am just reminded of these words from "lllusions" by Richard Bach >> " What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly !"

and yes...the last Q&A in Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now " >>

Q. When do i know that i have surrendered
A. When you no longer need to ask that question.

On Jun 2, 2008 Dlip wrote:
This is a lovely story and I hope you don't mind but I am reproducing it on a blog that my brother is putting together after he suffered from a stroke in December 2006. It is just such a transformation that a stroke victim, or indeed any person who suffers a major physical or emotional trauma, undergoes. I hope the story and sites like yours help even more readers. Do please visit - Home The Clock Struck One. Thank you

On Feb 5, 2007 Jerome wrote:
Stream, why don't you let yourself absorbed by the desert?

On Feb 4, 2007 Derek wrote:
All this talk of streams and wind and vapors is making me have to visit the loo.

On Feb 1, 2007 Bhanu Pyde wrote:
Praise the Lord

gud one...

The gud Lord never leaves us alone, especially when we need Him the most.

He will not leave me in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. How very true

On Jan 28, 2007 Barry Long Fan wrote:
One other point here; if you could not add anything else to your(self), would there be a point to Life on Earth? Let's say that the purpose of Life on Earth is a by-product of not being able to handle the fact that your are God. Because you cannot handle being God, and the whole creation is love, you are spared the suffering of having to be God, by being able to live in your own creation until such a time that your are ready to face the reality. What you are given is Mind. In Mind you can be whatever you want to be just by believing in it. It doesn't even matter if the rest of the world agrees, or if the phyiscal evidence indicates to the contrary.

In essence, you are not Mind. So Mind has a place, which is to allow you to fool yourself in to believing. Why would you need to believe? If you need to, does that not indicate that you do not have the knowledge and therefore have to "guess"?

If anyone has answer to this, I'd be interested. Cheers,

On Jan 28, 2007 Barry Long Fan wrote:
Great parable! You are not alone, only if you can convince your(self) that you exist and hold that belief. The self that you believe you have is what you spend your whole life serving. The craziness is that no one ever asks if the self really exists. Perhaps it sounds like too obvious a question. However, the true result is far from obvious. The truth is, as self, we are all different aspects of the same thing (God, or whatever) without the knowledge that we are God. As soon as the self is realised to be false, you are no longer an aspect of God... you realise you are God and in that capacity, you ARE alone. Just thought I'd clear that up! Thanks.

On Jan 26, 2007 Chessy wrote:
Amen! Praise god that we are not alone !

I can do all things through christ who strengthens me!!!

On Jan 25, 2007 Provat wrote:
Yes i appriciate the doors of perception.... their is sky is the limit of the greater-hiegst-self...

On Jan 25, 2007 Selemeng wrote:

Whenever there's a change, we need to look at it positively though it may not look so. That is, the benefits of change do not always come straight forward

On Jan 25, 2007 Mussie Habte wrote:
Attitudinal change is important. Interdependence is the secret to successin life and cooperation is the key. We can not make a walk without the help of the road.

On Jan 25, 2007 Asma Raheem wrote:
How I wish I was the wind instead of the stream!!!

On Jan 25, 2007 Aurelia wrote:
So many are afraid change and many more have no trust. I felt myself contemplating these while I read this parable. Trust in the Lord and you shall have no fear.

On Jan 24, 2007 Ronelle wrote:
Amazing. We are never alone.
If we feel we are in the desert, there is a bigger force to carry us through.
Thank you Rajeev for this scripture.

On Jan 23, 2007 Rajeev wrote:
Awesome...l don't see it as ever Me doing it alone. I might be the stream but if I have to flow eternally then I give the burden to the Almighty God.

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. - John 7:37-38.

On Jan 22, 2007 Rekha wrote:
AHO!! Niranjano...

I am the stream!!